This is directed specially at the WA photographers here or anyone who happens to be in Perth or surrounds. You have probably already heard about the threat of a whole bunch of severe winds this evening (gusts up to 150kph) and dangerous storm surge (IE stay clear of the beaches and rocky nearshore areas), but this post is regarding what is a lesser appreciated concern of mine. Many of you are aware I'm a stormchaser, but also a PhD student in severe thunderstorm environment analysis. I've been looking over things and am extremely concerned about the tornado and low-topped supercell potential for this evening. Now while most of the technical jargon won't interest you, If I was anywhere within 10 kilometres of the coast and living south of the Perth Metro I would be acutely alert for tornadic warning signs as these sort of conditions have to potential to produce strong tornadoes in the area. The peak time of threat will likely be from around 5pm til 10pm, and basically would extend along the coastline to Ocean Reef and all the way south to Bunbury, with larger area inland south of the metro extending down to Esperance. There is also the potential for large damaging hail, although this will depend on the exact morphology of the storms that form.
Tornadic Warning Signs:
- Wind begins to howl in an unsual way, or screech.
- Heavy Rainfall followed by Large Hail followed by nothing. (Or Large Hail followed by nothing).
- You see a funnel cloud or see power flashes from powerlines (green flashes).
- You see debris begin to fall near your house (insulation, roofing etc.).
If you see or hear any of the above get to the centre of your house (preferably no windows with strong close walls) and cover yourself/family with a doona (this is to protect from flying debris, the greatest cause of injury and death within tornadoes). This is particularly the case for Large hail or debris falling signs, though the first sign you might hear of an approaching tornado is the wind noise. The tornadoes will likely move rather quickly so you may not have much warning. Stay tuned to the bureau of meteorology for updates on the severe weather situation (they may not directly refer to tornadoes due to institutional policy).
I don't make these comments lightly, and will note that its no guarantee that you will be directly affected, however I am concerned enough that you should be aware the potential is there, and these things have and can kill people in Australia. This should be taken as opinion and is not an official forecast, merely the interpretation of an experienced individual (no responsibility is taken on the part of Aus Photography).